Medication assisted treatment for opiate withdrawal is often the chosen method of treatment for those who feel like they cannot cope with the symptoms of withdrawal in a “cold turkey” method. There are many benefits of medically assisted opiate detox including reduced risk of relapse and improved overall chances of sustainable recovery. If you or someone you know is addicted to harmful opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers, consider medically assisted detox a first choice for help.
What is Medically Assisted Detox?
Before going into the many benefits that can come from a medically assisted opiate detox, one must first have a thorough understanding of what medical detox. This method of detox involves medical supervision and intervention that provides the patient with medications which will help to control the withdrawal allowing for a more comfortable detoxification process. Most medical detox programs span the course of about 7 days during which the user will receive various medications and interventions that can help to ease the pain or discomfort of withdrawal.
Medications Used in Opiate Detox
Various medications may be used in opiate detox to help reduce symptoms of withdrawal, ease cravings and minimize the risk of early relapse. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Clonidine is the most commonly used medication when providing treatment for opiate withdrawal. Additional medications include:
Advantages of Medical Detox
Many benefits come from detoxing in a controlled environment in which immediate medical care is provided. The most profound benefit is safety; patients can be immediately treated for any complications that arise during withdrawal. While opiate withdrawal is generally non-life-threatening, medical supervision and immediate medical intervention when necessary further improves the overall safety of this difficult process.
Additional benefits of medically assisted opiate detox include:
- Reduced risk of relapse
- Improved support from peers
- Reduces severity of withdrawal symptoms
- Reduction of psychological trauma associated with anxiety or irritability
- Clean and controlled environment
- Treatment for underlying conditions or problems
- Reduced withdrawal times
- Reduced cravings
- Improved chances of recovery
While medically assisted detox may not be necessary in all cases, more often than not, people who are addicted to opiates require at least some help in quitting. Medically assisted detox dramatically improves the chances that there will not be an early relapse and can greatly reduce the risks involved with quitting a drug that the user has become addicted to. Recovery is always possible, medically assisted detox just makes it a little bit easier to achieve.